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Death an inconvenient truth

 
 
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 08:09 am
We are all born with a fatal ailment and we call it life, the outcome of which is always death

Do you think death and the possible annihilation of self into the eternal abyss is the ultimate fear of humans?.

Maybe it is not death we really fear but the process of death and loss of dignity in old age.

Carl Marx said that religion is the Opium of the masses and maybe he was right. But if religion gives a person hope that we live on in some form or the other after we die(Even if we don't) what is so wrong with that calming opiate?
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Adam101
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 08:19 am
@Alan McDougall,
Alan McDougall;95433 wrote:
We are all born with a fatal ailment and we call it life, the outcome of which is always death


what a statement.

Quote:
Do you think death and the possible annihilation of self into the eternal abyss is the ultimate fear of humans?.
I believe that our ultimate fear is to be unhappy. Personally, I don't fear death its self, I fear most forms of the process, but I always fear being unhappy. I hate being unhappy, so I avoid it. I imagine the process of death is going to make me unhappy, and that's why I fear some forms of death...the unhappiness that comes along with it.

Quote:
Maybe it is not death we really fear but the process of death and loss of dignity in old age.
ohh...we don't lose too much dignity in old age, do we?

Quote:
Carl Marx said that religion is the Opium of the masses and maybe he was right. But if religion gives a person hope that we live on in some form or the other after we die(Even if we don't) what is so wrong with that calming opiate?
I can't imagine anything wrong with it. Whether it's a delusion or not, it creates happiness, and it doesn't harm the person in believing in his "so-called delusion".
0 Replies
 
prothero
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 01:13 pm
@Alan McDougall,
[QUOTE=Alan McDougall;95433] We are all born with a fatal ailment and we call it life, the outcome of which is always death[/QUOTE] Better get busy living or get busy dying.

[QUOTE=Alan McDougall;95433] Do you think death and the possible annihilation of self into the eternal abyss is the ultimate fear of humans?. [/QUOTE] It does cause some existential angst. I think we fear suffering, humiliation and loss more than death itself. I contemplate death more with sadness (I enjoy life) than with fear.

[QUOTE=Alan McDougall;95433] Maybe it is not death we really fear but the process of death and loss of dignity in old age. [/QUOTE] They say death is a natural painless process. I am not so sure but we do have the capabilities to make death painless. I keep my do not resuscitate and do not maintain me in a vegetative state legal papers up to date.


[QUOTE=Alan McDougall;95433] Carl Marx said that religion is the Opium of the masses and maybe he was right. But if religion gives a person hope that we live on in some form or the other after we die(Even if we don't) what is so wrong with that calming opiate? [/QUOTE]I classify religious beliefs into harmful and not harmful. I think the hope for some form of life after death and reunion with loved ones as a harmless even helpful belief.
I classify the notion of heaven and hell as a harmful belief.
Even more harmful is the belief you know who is going where.
0 Replies
 
Leonard
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 02:01 pm
@Alan McDougall,
Once I die, it won't matter to me that i'm dead because I am dead.
Alan McDougall
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Oct, 2009 02:35 am
@Leonard,
Leonard;95603 wrote:
Once I die, it won't matter to me that i'm dead because I am dead.


The carrot that religion hold before us is the possibility that we will continue to exist in some form or the other after we die. Death might not be the end of it all but a new beginning in a higher realm of existence.

I have had a near death experience that led me to believe we really continue after we die, but prove it to you I can not.

Religion has done great good and great evil, so I have developed my own view on Divinity. I see god as the awesome primordial mind, first thought and thinker

The awe I feel we God makes me glad he allowed me to be born and exist, I even have love for this elusive god
xris
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Oct, 2009 06:10 am
@Alan McDougall,
Alan McDougall;95733 wrote:
The carrot that religion hold before us is the possibility that we will continue to exist in some form or the other after we die. Death might not be the end of it all but a new beginning in a higher realm of existence.

I have had a near death experience that led me to believe we really continue after we die, but prove it to you I can not.

Religion has done great good and great evil, so I have developed my own view on Divinity. I see god as the awesome primordial mind, first thought and thinker

The awe I feel we God makes me glad he allowed me to be born and exist, I even have love for this elusive god
If you believe it may well be a cure of this malaise, but you have to really believe or the doubts start creeping in and the reality has to faced. You cant force belief it has to come with conviction.
Alan McDougall
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Oct, 2009 07:03 am
@xris,
I have a few other points to make relating to the fear of death. The first being that we will die before we have accomplished all our dreams we had anticipated as a child or adult. But to most of us this will not really pose a problem because we can think of all the things we have done and feel a sense of satisfaction, such a raising a family etc.

The second fear relating to the dying process involves the actual moment of dying. Many say this will be a terrifying experience because it represents the ultimate loss of control. But we actually have this experience every night when we enter the little death, namely; sleep.

Perhaps the greatest fear is what comes after death. Such as after I die there will be just nothingness Of course then there would be nothing to worry about would there

But there might be something after we die, but why fear that, since we do not know what will happen to us just one minute from now, that also represents an unknown, just like next week does but we don't fear what will happen tomorrow. We have being living with the unknown from the moment we moved down the birth canal, we coped after that, so why would we not cope with the "something" that might come after we die?

Perhaps we should identify what about death we really fear. Is it that previously mentioned nothingness, if indeed there is nothingness after death there was nothingness "before death" and up to the moment of our birth we resided in that eternal dark nothingness and it gives us no problems when we look back on it?

Death is necessary or people would reproduce like bacteria, Existentialists like Sartre, Camus and others claim that when you face ultimate inevitability of death, life becomes meaningless. I believe this is nonsense and exactly the opposite is true. Accepting death can make life more meaningful, more rewarding, this does not mean that life is not precious, we must live in and saviour each moment of life we have.

Life is not about how many breaths we take, "but how many moments take away our breath" :bigsmile:

All of us, without exception are on this strange road we call life, with the possibility of something amazing, beautiful and enduring happening in the very next moment.

Xris thank God for life even if he does not exist Smile

Alan
xris
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Oct, 2009 07:24 am
@Alan McDougall,
Alan anyone who claims that death holds no fear are brash fools. I watched my mother have a long lingering death with cancer and it was far from pleasant, for her or her family. I hold no great fear of death as optimism is humanities greatest tool for encountering life but as the years pass i wonder what or how the experience will be, for me. I fear most the leaving of those i hold dear and never having the pleasure of their company. We are the lucky ones Alan, we have life's experiences and those we love are near to us, others are not so fortunate. WE have that last great adventure and if by chance we meet , what a laugh we shall have.
Alan McDougall
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Oct, 2009 07:45 am
@xris,
xris;95779 wrote:
Alan anyone who claims that death holds no fear are brash fools. I watched my mother have a long lingering death with cancer and it was far from pleasant, for her or her family. I hold no great fear of death as optimism is humanities greatest tool for encountering life but as the years pass i wonder what or how the experience will be, for me. I fear most the leaving of those i hold dear and never having the pleasure of their company. We are the lucky ones Alan, we have life's experiences and those we love are near to us, others are not so fortunate. WE have that last great adventure and if by chance we meet , what a laugh we shall have.


I have two fears relating to the dying process xris, loss of dignity when I get very old and frail, and the sadness of leaving behind my beloved ones. But I firmly believe we continue to exist, albeit in another realm and form after we die. I cant prove it to you or anyone else but it gives me comfort

Perhaps the greatest fear is that of the unknown, even if we do go on to live forever after we die, Heck forever is a very long time , I once read the immortal angels envy the mortals can who die and escape this everlasting life
Zetherin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Oct, 2009 07:50 am
@Leonard,
Leonard;95603 wrote:
Once I die, it won't matter to me that i'm dead because I am dead.


Now that's hard for me to believe.
0 Replies
 
xris
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Oct, 2009 08:31 am
@Alan McDougall,
Alan McDougall;95783 wrote:
I have two fears relating to the dying process xris, loss of dignity when I get very old and frail, and the sadness of leaving behind my beloved ones. But I firmly believe we continue to exist, albeit in another realm and form after we die. I cant prove it to you or anyone else but it gives me comfort

Perhaps the greatest fear is that of the unknown, even if we do go on to live forever after we die, Heck forever is a very long time , I once read the immortal angels envy the mortals can who die and escape this everlasting life
Alan what a problem that would be, living forever, i think i could come to terms with that awesome prospect. It might only be the first step to something even more amazing. By experience, i do believe we might just survive this mortal death, as i say the last great adventure awaits us all.
0 Replies
 
MaxBardus
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Oct, 2009 08:50 pm
@Alan McDougall,
We find ourselves naturally as a being-towards-death. We did not ask to come into this world, but now that we are here; it is inevitable that we will die.

Contemplating death is the only key to authentic living. Once I realize that death is something which will happen to me, then and only then can I have an original thought of my own. When I realize that death is something which no one can experience for me, then I start to formulate my answer to the questions which the world asks of all of us. The answer to this question is how I view myself, my life and ultimately the meaning of my own death. I will no longer be satisfied in reciting only what others have said.

Death (and guilt) is one of those things which we must experience alone. I don't think we necessarily fear death so much, as the fact that we have to go through it alone. (I realize that most people die surrounded by loved ones, but from my experience with death and dying, the biggest fear is that "no one can come with me.") The naked truth is that we do not know what happens after death. Socrates, Epicurus and others have shown us not to fear death, but we can not avoid the fear of dying. Death seems so for other people; the fear I think is owning up to my personal experience of it.
Alan McDougall
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Oct, 2009 02:20 am
@xris,
xris;95779 wrote:
Alan anyone who claims that death holds no fear are brash fools. I watched my mother have a long lingering death with cancer and it was far from pleasant, for her or her family. I hold no great fear of death as optimism is humanities greatest tool for encountering life but as the years pass i wonder what or how the experience will be, for me. I fear most the leaving of those i hold dear and never having the pleasure of their company. We are the lucky ones Alan, we have life's experiences and those we love are near to us, others are not so fortunate. WE have that last great adventure and if by chance we meet , what a laugh we shall have.


xris what you saw when your mother was dying was the painful aweful process of dying, it it just that process that I fear and think you fear, not actual final dead which is a release from the sufferings of life
0 Replies
 
xris
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Oct, 2009 03:02 am
@MaxBardus,
MaxBardus;95931 wrote:
We find ourselves naturally as a being-towards-death. We did not ask to come into this world, but now that we are here; it is inevitable that we will die.

Contemplating death is the only key to authentic living. Once I realize that death is something which will happen to me, then and only then can I have an original thought of my own. When I realize that death is something which no one can experience for me, then I start to formulate my answer to the questions which the world asks of all of us. The answer to this question is how I view myself, my life and ultimately the meaning of my own death. I will no longer be satisfied in reciting only what others have said.

Death (and guilt) is one of those things which we must experience alone. I don't think we necessarily fear death so much, as the fact that we have to go through it alone. (I realize that most people die surrounded by loved ones, but from my experience with death and dying, the biggest fear is that "no one can come with me.") The naked truth is that we do not know what happens after death. Socrates, Epicurus and others have shown us not to fear death, but we can not avoid the fear of dying. Death seems so for other people; the fear I think is owning up to my personal experience of it.
Yes your right, the knowledge of death makes life all the more poignant.
0 Replies
 
hue-man
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 02:29 pm
@Alan McDougall,
Alan McDougall;95433 wrote:
Carl Marx said that religion is the Opium of the masses and maybe he was right. But if religion gives a person hope that we live on in some form or the other after we die(Even if we don't) what is so wrong with that calming opiate?


The opiate is wrong because it's based on a false premise. When it boils down to evidence, there is no reason for us to believe in the survival of consciousness, the self, and personality after death. In fact, there is every reason not to believe in such a proposition. The belief in an afterlife is also life negating and passively nihilistic. I personally believe that life, with all of its fortune and misfortune, should be affirmed. Religion is not the only intellectual opiate that can be used to calm the human spirit. There are plenty of other practical means to acquire peace of mind and uplift the spirit.
xris
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 02:58 pm
@hue-man,
hue-man;98564 wrote:
The opiate is wrong because it's based on a false premise. When it boils down to evidence, there is no reason for us to believe in the survival of consciousness, the self, and personality after death. In fact, there is every reason not to believe in such a proposition. The belief in an afterlife is also life negating and passively nihilistic. I personally believe that life, with all of its fortune and misfortune, should be affirmed. Religion is not the only intellectual opiate that can be used to calm the human spirit. There are plenty of other practical means to acquire peace of mind and uplift the spirit.
Belief that life may possible survive death is not necessarily a religious conviction. I am agnostic [pagan] and through experience find the notion possible. It does not colour my life nor stop me fearing death.
hue-man
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 05:12 pm
@xris,
xris;98574 wrote:
Belief that life may possible survive death is not necessarily a religious conviction. I am agnostic [pagan] and through experience find the notion possible. It does not colour my life nor stop me fearing death.


The belief in the afterlife is a supernatural conviction, and yes, a supernaturalist does not need to be religious. What exactly do you mean by pagan?
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 05:40 pm
@Alan McDougall,
another way of looking at it though is this 'the self', so-called, is actually not a discrete and self-existing being entity or thing. It actually arises within a matrix of causes and conditions which precede it AND succeed it. For example, all the material elements of the body are pre-existent; in fact I understand that all the heavy elements and carbon itself were generated in stars ('we are stardust...') Then - all the psychological/cultural elements such as (for example) language, even ideas and mental patterns, these too are part of a cultural continuum which has given rise to us and which presumably will continue in our absence.

We do, as it were, recapitulate certain life themes that seem to be born with us. We are born with aptitudes, tendencies, and maybe also with conditions, weaknesses and so on. Some of these are genetic but some seem also to exist on a different level to the merely genetic.

In any case we are all part of a process of evolutionary development that started...when?..... and will finish...when? So what is so strange about the idea that the being is something which transcends death. It is at least conceivable.
0 Replies
 
Alan McDougall
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Oct, 2009 12:40 am
@Alan McDougall,
I would dispute strongly that there is no life after death. I have had a profound near death experience just like millions of others and we don't think there is life after death we KNOW THERE IS LIFE AFTER DEATH

And the near death experience is not an illusion delusion based on oxygen starvation to the brain or any other reason based on brain chemistry , it is the soul/mind/consciousness/awareness leaving the body and entering a different realm of existence. If I had not had the experience I would most likely have dismissed it for myself but I cannot deny the realty of what I saw
0 Replies
 
xris
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Oct, 2009 04:17 am
@hue-man,
hue-man;98614 wrote:
The belief in the afterlife is a supernatural conviction, and yes, a supernaturalist does not need to be religious. What exactly do you mean by pagan?
The worship of nature and the certainty of new life. The spirit of life. Im not sure but it may be that our informed life spirit may live on in some manner.
 

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